Like most of my readers, I am trying to live a healthier life by (trying) to eat better and going to the gym. Over the years, I have spoken to dozens of gym owners after some type of locker robbery and most have admitted now knowing what to do.
I believe I have a good solution to this problem that I wanted to share. As the Chief Information Security Officer for a large multinational, my team is constantly searching for new mechanisms to protect our company assets. One technique in a security teams arsenal is a fly-trap called a honeypot.
"honeypot is a trap set to detect, deflect, or, in some manner, counteract attempts at unauthorized use of information systems. Generally, a honeypot consists of a computer, data, or a network site that appears to be part of a network, but is actually isolated and monitored, and which seems to contain information or a resource of value to attackers. This is similar to the police baiting a criminal and then conducting undercover surveillance." - Wikipedia
So how do this apply to protecting a locker in a gym?
Deter, Detect and Respond.
The first step is to install a highly visible centrally located sign (or signs) in the locker room that says:
"This gym uses surveillance techniques to protect the property of its customers. Random lockers in this locker room are rigged to alert us of a locker break-in and to capture video of the perpetrator. All evidence will be handed over to the police for immediate action".
The system relies on discouraging half hearted thieves and on detecting the real problem cases.
As a gym owner, you randomly select a couple of lockers (changing the locker and lock daily) in which you install an always recording video system (can be cheap WIFI based video cameras), and a motion detection alarm (that is triggered when the door is opened).
Most people will read the sign and control the urge to steal. The real thieves may actually trigger the system but now you have a video snapshot of the person and an audible warning.
What kind of camera?
Any WIFI camera where you can record the video feed works. An example of a good pick would be the Dropcam Pro with Cloud Recording feature turned on (link).
I believe gyms around the world can take better care of their patrons property by implementing this simple trick. Hopefully some of my local gyms will read this article and try it out.